Housing advocate Claira Monier, health care leader Dr. Joseph Pepe and businessman Harold Turner Jr. were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Business and Industry Association at the group’s annual dinner Wednesday at the DoubleTree Hotel.
The New Hampshire Business Committee for the Arts received the New Hampshire Advantage Award.
Monier led the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority as executive director from 1988 to 2007, giving her a front-row seat to an unfolding challenge that became a crisis.
The lack of affordable workforce housing has become perhaps the biggest challenge for employers struggling to staff their operations. The lack of workers threatens the success of these employers and the state’s economy.
Monier cited the Legislature’s creation of a state-level Housing Appeals Board in 2019 as a recent positive change. The board gives housing developers a quicker, less expensive way to appeal zoning board decisions that inappropriately reject projects than having to go to court.
“The basic problem is still at the local level,” she said. “A developer is going to give up eventually. Many times, people who serve on planning and zoning boards don’t want their town, their community to change. Change in any form can be a bit discouraging when it affects land use.”
Health care leader
Dr. Joseph Pepe retired as CEO of CMC Healthcare System in June, leaving an indelible contribution to health care in the Granite State.
Pepe spent his entire professional career at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, rising from internist to CEO. Pepe, 60, served as the hospital’s chief executive officer from 2012 to 2021.
“One of the amazing things at CMC is that it’s a gem many people don’t realize,” he said. “Literally, there are tens of procedures and technologies that we were the first in the area to have. Despite having the best hospitals in the country and in Boston, CMC has been first to the market many times.”
Pepe retired early to spend more time with his family, including his wife, Anne-Marie, and their son, daughter-in-law and new grandson.
He remains CEO of GraniteOne Health, CMC’s parent company, overseeing and facilitating the federal and regulatory approval of the combination of GraniteOne Health and its members with Dartmouth Hitchcock Health Care.
He will continue to work with GraniteOne Health through the completion of the combination. Granite-One Health includes CMC Healthcare System, Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough and Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro.
Turner founded The H.L. Turner Group Inc. in Concord in 1990 and for more than 30 years led his company’s effort to “advance the technology, art, and science of the built environment.” The president and CEO retired this past summer.
The company has consistently delivered award-winning environmental building designs that promote healthy buildings, sustainable design and enhanced learning environments.
“When you put together architects, engineers and building scientists, you tend to get a different project, a better project,” Turner said. “I hit the workforce in the mid-’70s. The first company I worked for and stayed with for about 15 years was multi-disciplined with architects and engineers; two legs of the stool.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted The H.L. Turner Group’s long use of displacement ventilation, which it adapted from Europe 30 years earlier. The company’s office building, built in 1998, is designed with displacement ventilation.
Promoting the arts
The Business and Industry Association honored the New Hampshire Business Committee for the Arts with the 2021 New Hampshire Advantage Award, which honors businesses, organizations or projects that enhance New Hampshire’s special character and quality of life in meaningful ways.
The association’s new augmented reality art, AR+ art by NHBCA App, makes art more accessible by taking original artwork and displaying it digitally in the world around you through an app on your phone.
“It puts the art in the palm of someone’s hand,” said Tricia Soule, NHBCA’s executive director. “They can interact with amazing pieces of art anywhere. It allows us to promote art and culture not just in New Hampshire but well beyond. It gives a much greater opportunity for the organizations and artists to gain exposure to a much wider audience than they might otherwise have.”